Many people look at Internet Marketing in terms of clicks, hits, visitors and sales. While these aspects are certainly a part of internet marketing, it's important to back out one level and think of internet marketing from the perspective of a business owner. At this level, internet marketing is about:
- Building stronger long-term client relationships by leveraging technology-based communications.
- Differentiating your organizations based on:
- Areas of expertise
- Becoming a thought Leader
- Improving organization-wide performance through a scientific process of matching the needs of your customers with the solution(s) you offer.
The primary objective of internet marketing is to gain control over driving revenue growth through a systematic and repeatable process. That systematic and repeatable process has three main components or "legs": browse and search, e-mail marketing, and social media.
Search Engine Marketing
When most people think of internet marketing Google most likely comes to mind. To even the least sophisticated internet user Google has become a household name. Because of the search engine technology developed by Google, the way in which prospects research, compare, and buy products and services has been fundamentally transformed. It used to be that companies sent sales people out into the field to find prospects. Today, your prospects find you...but only if you have relevant content and if you exist in the minds of the search engines.
There are two ways in which your products or services will "rank" or appear on the search engines: organically or pay per click. When you do a search on Google for a specific word or set of keywords and see the list of results along the left-hand side (below the colored results at the top) you are looking at organic results. That means you are listed based solely upon the search engines determination that your content is the most relevant result for the search conducted by the prospect. You have not had to pay a penny to the search engine to achieve that result.
With PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, you enter into an auction with your competitors and bid upon specific keywords that you believe represent your products or services. There are a number of factors that influence how much you have to pay to win the auction and be displayed at the top or along the right-hand side of the search engine results page (SERP). The key factors are how much you are willing to pay and your quality score. Your quality score is a multi-faceted ranking that Google calculates based largely upon the relevance of your data and the rate at which searchers click on your ad (click through rate).
A well executed organic search engine optimization plan can greatly enhance your PPC plan and ultimately reduce the amount you have to pay for keywords.
Another critical component of internet marketing is email marketing. Unlike search engine marketing, most people when asked don't associate email marketing specifically with internet marketing. The implementation of an email marketing program addresses one of the Achilles heel of sales; prospect and client follow-up. Human nature is such that we tend to lose touch with prospects and customers after the initial contact. Email marketing ensures that you keep a constant flow of communication with prospects and customers through the use of auto-responder technology and contact lists.
A well executed e-mail marketing campaign keeps the dialogue going with your prospects, increasing the likelihood that they will think of your products or services when they are ready to buy.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing likewise means something different to just about everybody...even for those intimately familiar with it. While names such as Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia certainly come to mind, there are several other important aspects to social media marketing that goes well beyond these websites, including article marketing, blogging, video, social bookmarking, podcasting, RSS feeds, and press releases.
By establishing these multiple virtual real estate properties online, you will actually be establishing your company and its various products and services online and helping to make it a household name. As such social media marketing has become a critical new force in branding and will help accomplish the following:
Reputation Management - By controlling as much of the first couple of pages of Google as possible with as many social media marketing methods, you can better control the information that people are learning about your Company.
Increased Sales - The more virtual real estate that you have, the wider your net is cast. You will be able to target various high-converting demographics in your market.
Ranking - The back links provided by social marketing will help your chosen website(s) to rank better in the search engines.
This process tells Google that YOU are an authority in your market. You want Google to feel this way since it is the deciding power that determines IF and WHO it will be sending to your site.
Entrepreneurial Advantage works with its clients to design, implement, monitor, and optimize a social media marketing program based specifically upon their unique needs and strategic objectives and integrates with and leverages the power of search engine and email marketing.